Where Am I, What Can I Do, Where Can I Go?

I remember quite some years back reading about usability and instantly recognizing from my own experience that the three questions in the title of this post are exactly what we need ot know when we land on a page.

Im pretty sure it was this post from Jakob Nielsen but sheeesh, it was ages ago, so forgive me a little vaguity here ok?

Today though, i was going to do a little post about the natty new nav widgets we have at the top of each page when i ran across Darren talking about Seth’s post on landing pages.

Unfortunately, landing pages as a term has gotten rather a spammy feel to it in recent years, it always makes me think of doorway pages, pages created specifically for search engines to funnel visitors through – an ugly, but at least at one time, very effective way of getting traffic (dont try this at home kids, it’s somewhat out of date now..)

Despite the spammy feel of the term though, the idea that every page is a potential entry point onto your site is not a new one, and it’s as valuable a truth today as it was years ago — and when a vistitor does find your page, via a search engine, or a direct link from another blog, you’d better be answering those three questions dammit!

  1. Where am i?
  2. What can i do?
  3. Where can i go?

If every page on your site does not clearly answer those questions then you need ot have a think about how you can change that. Usually it’s fairly simple. Untill recently though, we’ve been guilty as sin of not following our own advice, and it’s been commented upon on quite a few occasions that it’s just not clear what you can do here at Performancing.com

Enter the new widgets…

They don’t complete the task, but they do go quite a way forward. You can now get an idea of what you can do here, and we’re better communicating our goals and steering random visitors toward the areas of the site we think most important.

I’d welcome comments on what more we can do, and any thoughts you guys have on the general topic of navigation and usability on blogs…

One thought on “Where Am I, What Can I Do, Where Can I Go?

  1. Nick, that header is wonderful!

    The only thing missing is a visible real homepage link and I would put the search box on top. Maybe also the about and categories block. This will really give a helpful ‘landing strip’ orientation for new visitors.

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